Blind Man and His Service Dog Kicked Out of Restaurant: ‘You Don’t Look Blind’

A legally blind man and his service dog were threatened with arrest when they tried to go into a Seattle restaurant

<p>Matthew and Paul/TikTok</p> TikToker Paul of MatthewandPaul with his service dog Mr. Maple.

Matthew and Paul/TikTok

TikToker Paul of MatthewandPaul with his service dog Mr. Maple.

A legally blind TikToker has shared that he and his guide dog were kicked out of a Seattle restaurant when a staff member didn’t believe he was blind.

“I walked in with my guide dog, Mr. Maple, and immediately somebody rushed up to me and said, ‘No pets allowed, only service dogs,'” said Paul, who chronicles his adventures with his partner on the popular TikTok account MatthewandPaul, which has more than 2.1 million followers.

In his TikTok, posted yesterday, Paul said he explained, “‘It's OK, he's a service dog.’ He looked at me, he looked at Maple, he said, ‘Emotional support dog?’ ‘No, like a guide dog for the blind.’”

“I literally had this harness attached to him,” Paul continued, referring to the words “Guide Dogs for the Blind” on Mr. Maple’s harness.

“I showed this to him, I said ‘I'm blind.’”

“He said, ‘You don't look blind,’ and I said, ‘A lot of people in the blind community still have some functional vision.’”

As Paul has previously explained in another TikTok, he has Retinitis pigmentosa, which the National Eye Institute says causes the “cells in the retina break down slowly over time, causing vision loss.”

He can see a small tunnel of vision, surrounded by “moving light, popping random colors, almost like fireworks.”

Paul shared that he tried to explain this at the restaurant. 

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“He said, ‘You're looking right at me.’ I said, ‘Yes, but it's like I have a pinhole of vision — that's all I can see.’

"He said, ‘Listen, this isn't my first rodeo’ — he literally said that — he said, ‘This isn't my first rodeo.’”

“What is going on out there that would lead this man to believe that I was lying?”

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Paul continued, ‘’He said, ‘Do you see any other dogs in this restaurant?’ I said, ‘Honestly, no. I'm blind. There could be.’”

<p>Matthew and Paul/TikTok</p> TikToker Paul of Matthew and Paul.

Matthew and Paul/TikTok

TikToker Paul of Matthew and Paul.

When Paul offered to come back with his dog’s paperwork, he says he was told, “If you step foot back in this restaurant with that dog I will call the police.”

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“I'm speechless,” he concluded his video, which at press time had 5.1 million views.

“Service animals must be allowed into all areas of a place of public accommodation where the general public is allowed,” says the Washington State Human Rights Commission, which adds, “this includes dining and eating areas, restrooms, and areas where food is sold.”

While Paul declined to name the restaurant, commenters offered their support, saying, “Pretty sure if you name the restaurant all the Seattle baddies with service dogs will congregate.”

And another commenter added, “We ride at dawn for Mr. Maple,” prompting Matthew and Paul to reply, “Thank you❤️❤️❤️.”

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